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multiple keyboards one computer I had a unusual request today from our editorial department. They were having a meeting and needed to allow “Collaborative Input” their words not mine. So after poking around and pulling some teeth I found out what they really needed. They wanted to be able to use two or more keyboards and mice on one shared screen.

We have a projector hooked up to one of our production machines and they wanted to have a “Meeting of the minds”. Allowing anyone to add to whatever they were doing. They wanted to have multiple exercises, one being a word document and another being Mspaint – think Brainstorming 2.0.

After the idea was fully explained to me I thought it was pretty cool. I hit Google and I hit Google hard. It didn’t hit back but I did find a bunch of solutions.

Of course as usual they all wanted my money! Still they were all geared towards people connecting from multiple computers to one session – like WebEx. This is not what I needed – it would work but, it would definitely be overkill.

I needed a very specific tool and I found it. It is called TeamPlayer availble from here. You load up this small application and install it.  A moment later you will see this:

I left the defaults checked (made sure my second keyboard and mouse was connected) and clicked Finish.

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two keyboards on one pc

I loaded up Photoshop to document my experience and as you cansee on the photoshop window above there are two mouse pointers. A Red Arrow for mouse number two and a blue dot for the mouse I was actively using. Click the left mouse button to assert yourself and gain control. I know there has to be a game in here somewhere (Anyone??)…

There are no magic settings here as this application just works! It seems to have a small memory footprint and did not adversely effect my machine in any way. I am going to load this up for our brainstormers to try out.

two mouse pointers on one computer

Do you have a similar favorite tool? Does it offer more features like screen recording or other goodies? If so put us on in the comments!

  1. Hayden
    September 24, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Software development teams call this 'Pairing'.

    Another solution, use a Macintosh and it will just work, any Mac, every app, just work.

  2. Dicolab support team
    April 27, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    For all of you still reading this ...
    We have released an all new version of the TeamPlayer software!
    At present we are at version 4! already.
    Much improved and more functionality over what is described here,

    Even a FREE lite version available at our website dicolab dot com.
    Check it out and give it a test drive yourself

  3. Brandon
    April 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    What about video gaming?... would this work for that?... exxample: two player gaming like Fifa? can two keyboards work in that way too?

  4. Nathan Smutz
    February 24, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    For simultaneous editing of documents, spreadsheets, slide-presentations and simple-drawings, Google Drive is pretty amazing. Photoshop wouldn't be an option, though.

    You wont see a second mouse pointer, but you'll see cursors writing and things appearing in real time.

    Drive was my favorite collaborative tool in school and I'm always trying to encourage people to use it.

  5. b
    June 6, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    i think there is something called ncomputing that is similar that would work for multiple things being done from one computer.

    ncomputing.com/

  6. Kyle
    February 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I am looking for a similar solution. I want to be able to use 2 keyboards, but re-assign the values of one of them. Basically I want to be more efficient, use keyboard A normally, while I set up keyboard B to have specific functions. Like pressing a particular key launches a program, or does a specific task. Anyone know of a program like this?

    • Matthew
      January 3, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Get a single keyboard that has multiple profiles ie Roccat were you can flick through different profiles and each profile can be set up to do different tasks

  7. Matt
    December 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Is there a way to have one computer in the house, and multiple monitors/keyboard/mouse in different locations around the house??? That...with this...would work well!

  8. Lee H
    December 4, 2008 at 10:04 am

    No need for special software. I have two keyboards and 2 mice (2 mouses) connected to my computer. One "standard" pair via the ps2 (round) connections that the family generally uses, and one pair (MS Natural and a trackball mouse) via USB to ease my carpel tunnels. (Vista Home Premium). You only get one mouse track, but as long as you can designate who is operating at the time, there should be no problem. If two people operate the devices the computer sees the garbage in and you see the garbage out, and they may need more than this tool to cooperate. One advantage with the tool is separate mouse tracks, but it may be too easy to steal the keyboard with a left mouse click. I only use the mouse when a keyboard shortcut is not available.

  9. venkat
    December 4, 2008 at 7:05 am

    This will be very useful in less developed countries ,in schools where they can't afford to have multiple computers operate one computer with multiple keyboards and mouses having said that the CPU has enough USB ports to connect to CPU.

  10. Aibek
    December 3, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Karl, nice tool

    I always wanted to keep one wireless keyboard / mouse set near my bed to control the TV.

    • John
      December 3, 2008 at 3:45 pm

      That is a great use for this! SWEET! Thanks Karl.

  11. RobertoTNK
    December 3, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    For this functionality, try etherpad.com/, it's so easy and simple to use.

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